Clarisa's Story

Script by Valerie Bodell

In the midst of a lush, but forbidding landscape of bright sun, rocky ground, and pointed shapes, a young, pregnant woman, with a baby on her back, hoes.  Narration at the bottom of the page is:  Subsistence farming in Haiti toughens Clarisa.

A wide, shallow basket of bread loaves dominates the top of the scene.  It is being carried on the young woman’s head.  In the lower right corner a panel shows her dropping a few coins into a jar.  Narration for this scene is: She dreams of a better life and bakes bread at night to earn money.

A man with a scar at the corner of his left eye stands before a group of men.  This panel is on a slant.  The narration for this scene is:  Clarisa’s husband is angry that she does not try to please him and tells the community elders that she ignores his children.

A funnel shape encloses a puffer fish, toad, tarantula, and skull.  These ingredients, a poison and irritants, fall out the bottom of the funnel into an outstretched hand.  The narration is:  The community asks the bokor to enslave Clarisa as a zombie.

The bokor grasps Clarisa’s forearm, rubbing the toxin into her skin, knowing that the irritants will encourage scratching, allowing more poison to enter her system.  Narration is:  The bokor rubs toxin into Clarisa’s arm . . .

A large panel shows a graveyard, two ‘thugs’ with digging implements lean against the stone wall.  A grave stands empty and the bokor holds Clarisa’s spirit trapped in a bottle in one hand and offers her a paste of a psychotropic toxin mixed with sweet potatoes with the other.  Clarisa sits(?) on a headstone?  On the ground? Narration at the top of the panel in a small balloon says:   . . . and she dies.  In a separate balloon?  The bokor traps her fleeing spirit . . . More  narration is on a tomb with an angel on top:  and revives her body. He keeps her disoriented and compliant by feeding her poison mixed with sweet potatoes.  She is given a new name and begins her life of slavery.

A final scene with a zombie figure?